Well, well, well, what have we here? It's one of those upcoming Play Store gift cards we discovered yesterday and saw earlier today. This specific one was purchased at a local Turnersville, NJ Target by one of its employees. The kicker? He claims they are just hanging out in bins next to the checkout counters waiting to be put up on one of those gift card walls. Anyone shopping at the store can grab them from the pile, purchase (the system already allows it), and give them a new home.

Here, check it out:


Now for the best part. The code from this gift card is now in our full possession (thanks, Mongocrush!). "But how can you test it out if the Redeem page is not live on the web or the device Play Store yet?" you may ask. And that would be a fair question. Turns out, there is a way, which I discovered while plowing through the new 3.8.15 Play Store APK yesterday.

So, did redeeming the code work? You betcha. Have a look yourself (the initial $0.10 in my Play Store balance were left over from the $25 Nexus 7 bonus money):

wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-11-06 wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-12-00 wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-12-27


wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-12-53 wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-17-20

Update: Unfortunately, the tipster confirmed that there doesn't seem to be an NFC tag embedded on the gift card itself, so you can't scan it with an NFC-enabled device and get it automagically added to your balance.

Now, we don't know how many Targets are selling these bad boys early (this is your cue to check some local stores and tell us), but what we do know for a fact is they can already be redeemed. Definitely exciting stuff.

By the way, in case you were wondering, these can't be used to buy devices from the Play Store, at least for now. It's possible that this "Unsupported payment method" message comes up because I don't have enough funds, in which case it'd be quite misleading, but it's much more likely that the balance can only be spent on digital goods.

wm_8-16-2012 7-49-17 PM

Thanks, Mongocrush (for sending the code so quickly and buying the card in the first place)!

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • MongoCrush

    Happy to help!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Thank you, kind sir.

  • Alan

    I was hoping to use my Google play credit to Subscribe to some magazines but the payment was unsupported as well I hope they change that now they have these gift cards.

  • infogulch

    Hey I wonder how the url *prefix* (;P) works? Did you try http://play.google com/redeem/8MAQ________GVKN ???

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001235596936 Jason Wilkinson

    I think the card would work way better if there was an NFC chip in it and you just had to place the card on the device (or vice versa) and the payment would be added to your Google Account. The card isn't activated until it's purchased anyways so there would be no risk in having it stolen while it's in your shopping bag, and from the looks of the article, you need to enter the number manually.

    • infogulch

      THIS. Would be a great way to increase publicity about NFC.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Great question.

      Unfortunately, the tipster confirmed that there doesn't seem to be an NFC tag embedded on the gift card itself, so you can't scan it with an NFC-enabled device and get it automagically added to your balance.

    • http://twitter.com/passsy passsy

      Not a good option: Go to the store and scann all the cards but don't pay for them. Think about!

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        How's that different from what you can do now by just copying the code? They still need to activate them for them to work.

        • Tes

          You don't think it's easier to stroke your phone across some cards without them noticing than standing there with a coin scratching off the covering on the codes?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            You can just steal them, either way, they need to be activated at purchase time.

      • Matthew

        Not to mention why would someone want to drive to a store just to scan a card.

    • TheTorish

      My issue is that you wouldn't be able to mail the card out as a gift because people could just redeem it without even opening the envelope. A unique QR code would be a better option.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000600710319 Amirul Vyseus Khalis

    I just hope the card can be purchase virtually so that It can be sold world wide, I have issue with other payment for a while already.... Also good give replacement for me to use for the festive season.

  • Brie

    A tree is killed to digitize money to purchase digital items. ????????????????!

    • Bariman43

      Are you serious!? Your house right now is being powered by a plant that's putting so much pollution into the air that it's causing the global temperatures to rise, and you're on a high horse about trees being turned into a f***ing gift card? Hell, every time you buy something, that mostly useless receipt you get was also made out of trees. Why aren't you complaining about that?

    • DanielM

      Actually the card is most likely made of corn or recycled paper

      • Roberto Elena Ormad

        And the energy needed to make those cards comes only from clean renewable sources, doesn't it? /s

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I don't see why these can't be sold virtually as well. I'm sure they will be.

      • Unknown404

        That will be coming later on. Working on it as we speak!

  • Magic

    automagically is now part of my vocabulary.

  • http://jeremyperez.com Jeremy

    @archon810:disqus Unlikely they will ever allow hardware purchases with these. I can only assume (and wishfully hope) they will occasionally go on sale the way iTunes cards do. $100 iTunes cards for $80 happens every once in a while at Best Buy. I just don't see Google selling Nexus7s for ~$160+shipping and tax. Then giving you another $25 to spend in the Play Store.

  • http://resbo.dk/ Søren Resbo

    Could this be a way to access google play stuff from outside US?

  • briankariu

    This would really take of in 3rd world countries where most subscribers are on prepaid and scratch cards are the defacto way of topping up your account balance. Hope google implements his in my home country Kenya

    • Roberto Elena Ormad

      There is no Music, Movies and Books in many 1st world countries, so... good luck waiting!

  • Steven Machado

    So how in hell are you paying for play store items with the wallet? I don't see that option anywhere

  • Peeed Off

    A top up card with NFC would be a great way to go. Like a debit card, with your personal details, NFC built in, secured and verified by a PIN on the Android store, instead of a once off gift card, it would also reduce the costs of having to print so many cards. It would make use of the card a lot more personal...!!!

  • Thx84

    About the credit: can you pay partly with the gift card and the rest with your credit card? for example, you have 1$ left and want to buy a 2$ game, pay 1$ with the credit and the rest with your credit card?
    Not sure if I make any sense

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Nope, not at the moment. For example, I couldn't use my 10c on anything (at least not until another 10c sale comes along, if that ever happens again). You can only use one payment source in one shot.

      • Thx84

        that would be a nice feature though. It means that if you have a gift card or a credit from the Nexus 7 and your credit is low, you have to plan how you spend the money to make the most of it

  • kzd

    Hi artem,
    Can you test if the gift cards can be added on google wallet?? Will be useful as reloadable card for international users. thanks

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I don't know where you'd add one, it's not the same as a Google prepaid card.

  • mattdonders

    I hope this Redeem / Wishlist functions make way for "gift codes" that developers can give out. I would love to do some type of giveaway where I can give out free copies of my app without having to just send the people the APK or send them money hoping they would spend it on my app.

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      That's.... a great idea!

  • Nick V

    I am a few miles away from that target. I need to head over there this weekend.

  • Nick V

    This will be another definite thorn in the side of Apple. Can't wait to see if Apple has a patent for this... :)

    • John O’Connor

      a patent for gift cards? considering that there are gift cards for everything these days (most of which can be redeemed either online or in-store) I highly doubt it

    • Aron Tripp


  • onpoint G

    Can someone pick one up, put money on it and give me the code so I can try it out lol

  • Aron Tripp

    I love the fact that Mongo Crush got 15% off a GIFTCARD! .85c on the $ at the Play Store. Awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/toddersv Todd Van Laningham

    Just spotted some being displayed at my local Target!!

  • Ethan Kiang

    With all this talk about NFC, what would be ideal is that instead of having NFC embedded into the card, there should be a NFC scanner where you can swipe your phone to receive credits after you have paid at the counter. I guess this would eliminate theft, and reduce costs such as not needing a separate NFC chip in each card. Just my 2 cents.

  • tyler durnell

    So whats the code

  • TayRoberson

    What was the code?

  • Jordan Geber

    What's the code for it?

  • assassincreed325

    You suck balls

  • assassincreed325

    Not youmongo

  • Haha

    This is 'excitement' to you? :) Hahaha.